Ceremonial Magick by Phil Hansford © 1988
The files in this archive are copyright (c) 1988 by Phil Hansford. They
are licensed for free non-commercial distribution only. They may not be distributed or
carried on commercial bulletin boards, nor on boards which require a fee or donation.
They may not be copied or distributed in any form when sold or used for profit. This
copyright may not be replaced by any other copyright or license by any other person or
entity except the author. This notice must accompany this file.
This set of files forms a complete introduction to ceremonial magick. This is the
latest version of material which originally appeared as a printed correspondence course
from the ‘College of Egyptian Mysteries’. I began writing this material in 1974 and
have been releasing revisions of it ever since. It was first placed on my bulletin
board in electronic form in July 1986, where it has remained until recently when I
discovered that a commercial board had it online despite specific restrictions against
this. Also, the commercial board had placed their own copyright on the material and was
attempting to claim ownership. As a result I have ‘pulled’ the old files from all
authorized boards and am revising and re-issuing them in the present form. This new
release also contains a rather emphatic copyright notice for this reason. I have never
attempted to make money off of this course material, nor from anything I have ever done
in the occult. My intention with this material has always been to distribute it
The course starts at the beginner’s level and progresses gradually toward more
advanced concepts which include meditation, chakras, the Cabala and basic ritual. Even
if you have little interest in the subject here, you may find the first ‘lesson’ which
discusses parapsychology to be worthwhile. I should point out that the material is
often revised, and that I will probably be adding additional articles in this series
from time to time.
–Phil Hansford, April 1988.
Some editing has be done to the original files (available for Download in the
appropriate section) to correct spelling and grammatical errors in the original files
as well as the inclusion of HTML coding and links as available to make the document
more user friendly.
— Achriel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- parapsychology and psychic phenomena
- examples of ESP
- examples of PK
- the subconscious
- why do magick?
- magick vs. witchcraft, alchemy
The Subjectivity of Experience
- the model
- the true will
- systems of magick
The Four Worlds
- microcosm and macrocosm
- magick white and black
- the great work
- your magical diary
Elements and Forces
Chakras and Meditation
- the tattvas
- health and diet
Thoughtforms and Spirits
- developing clairvoyance
- the aura
- directed attention
- creative visualization
- basic parts of a ritual
- the magick circle
- artificial elementals
Healing and Banishing
- absent healing
- the banishing ritual
- the planets
- forms of astral projection
- states of consciousness
- techniques of astral projection
- the four worlds
- the sefirotic tree
- the paths
- planetary correspondences
- willpower and magick
The ability to think seems to set us apart from other creatures. And although we are
concerned with living in the physical world, we are mental beings. The fact is we are
thinking all the time. We plan, we brood, we get depressed or elated — all of it is
thought. But the universe is mental too, and if we could control our thinking we would
see magnificent results in the everyday world.
Many systems have been developed over the ages to help us control our thoughts. A
great amount of dogma too has been kicked around in an attempt to make us into better
people. Magick (the occult kind, spelled with a ‘k’) is one of the oldest and most
general of these systems. Magick is the study and application of psychic forces. It
uses mental training, concentration, and a system of symbols to program the mind. The
purpose of magick is to alter the self and the environment according to the will.
Most of the magick we see today comes to us from ancient Egypt and Chaldea. The
Chinese, Hindus, and Tibetans developed their own unique types of magick. Western
magick was locked up by the Egyptian priests for thousands of years and then suppressed
by the rise of Christianity. It was not until medieval Europe that magical knowledge
was rediscovered by the alchemists and Cabalists. Only during the past hundred years or
so has western culture been open minded enough to permit widespread investigation of
the subject. Only since the start of the twentieth century has science shown much
interest in it al all.
PARAPSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIC PHENOMENA
Through parapsychology, we are gaining insights into the hidden nature of man.
Parapsychology is a branch of psychology which studies psychic phenomena. It remains
something of a frontier, even today. Perhaps one reason for this is that psychic
phenomena are somewhat inconsistent. Nevertheless, there is strong evidence from
numerous cases and experiments in support of psychic phenomena. Somehow, under the
right conditions, the mind can directly affect the environment.
We may theorize that the human mind and body broadcasts a kind of psychic energy or
force, much like a radio station. Kirlian photography, temperature effects, cloud
chamber tests, and other experiments tend to support this theory. Although the exact
nature of this psychic force is subtle and unknown, it is undoubtedly the energy behind
all psychic phenomena and magick. However, it is *not* a radio wave, since it behaves
somewhat differently. The psychic force is too weak to be measured directly (at least
so far as we know). Everyone has some psychic ability. There are numerous types of
psychic phenomena. Parapsychology separates them into two groups: ESP and
EXAMPLES OF ESP
ESP, the abbreviation for extra sensory perception, means the reception of
information through paranormal means (ie. not regular physical senses of sight, sound,
touch, smell, or taste). In theory, this is accomplished by receiving psychic force
from outside the body. Here are some examples of ESP:
- Clairvoyance, or Remote Viewing — the ability to sense or ‘see’ (non-physically)
distant objects, places, and people. Individuals who see ghosts and spirits are
- Clairaudience, or remote hearing — the ‘hearing’ of paranormal information.
- Astral Projection (OOBE) or Traveling Clairvoyance — Full experience at a remote
location while the physical body sleeps.
- Psychometry — the reading of information by the touch of physical objects.
- Telepathic receiver — the ability to directly receive thought (communication) at
a distance, with no physical connection to the sender. There are many everyday
examples of this, in which we think something just as another person is about to say
it. This is an easy one to test for through experiment. Very dramatic cases of
telepathy have been recorded; there is often an emotional element in such cases.
- A ‘channel’ or medium, as in a sÃƒÂ©ance, who is in direct
communication with a ‘spirit’ or entity.
- Experience with a Ouija board, pendulum, or automatic writing.
- Precognition — to foresee the future. Again, highly emotional events are the
ones most likely to be ‘tuned in’.
- Retrocognition — knowledge of the past, by paranormal means.
EXAMPLES OF PK
PK, the abbreviation for psychokinesis, is the active or sending side of psychic
phenomena. The theory here is that psychic force is sent out from the individual.
Examples of PK include:
- Telepathic sender — the transmitter in the telepathy just discussed.
- Psychokinesis (or telekinesis) proper — the ability to move objects by means of
- Somewhat along the same lines are poltergeist (noisy ghost) phenomena in which
objects move of their own accord or noises are heard. There is always a human agent
involved — frequently a teenage girl — who appears to be the source of psychic
- Psychic healing — the ability to heal various illnesses and infirmities. There
are many documented cases of this. Usually it involves a healer and a subject,
although there are recent cases involving cancer patients learning to heal
- Teleportation, apportation, and levitation. Some occultists feel a magician
producing PK effects is simply a channel for universal energy. Others think the force
originates some way directly within the magician.
Postulated by Freud and others, the concept of the subconscious mind is an important
one. Basically, this is the idea that part of the mind normally operates below or
outside of ordinary consciousness and awareness. Dreams and hypnosis are examples of
this. Also subconscious are the many automatic functions of the physical body such as
respiration and digestion.
WHY DO MAGICK?
Magick encompasses many things — science and art, philosophy and metaphysics,
psychology and comparative religion. Magick is an adventure at the borderlands of the
unknown. It can fit the pieces of the puzzle of life into a meaningful whole.
*Magick is fun* and interesting. Use magick to help raise consciousness without
drugs. Gain new experiences. Fantasy can come alive through magick. Psychic phenomena
can be controlled and be fun and helpful.
*Magick is beneficial*. It can help you to have excellent health, and bring you good
luck. With magick life runs smoothly; life is good. Also use magick for personality
improvement, to control bad habits and to develop new motivations.
*Magick is powerful*. Never underestimate the tremendous power of magick. Use magick
to alter events and to achieve your goals. Exert an influence over people and
phenomena. But power for its own sake is self defeating. The power which magick can
give you should not be your primary reason for studying it.
A number of other occult disciplines are prevalent today besides magick. There are
many cults and sects which profess their own views, but there are really few
differences between them. One popular area in the occult today is witchcraft. This is
far removed from the clichÃƒÂ© of devil worship. Real witchcraft is
a nature religion (pagan). Witchcraft has much in common with magick.
Alchemy also has much in common with magick. It’s heritage comes from the middle
ages. Alchemy fathered chemistry and the physical sciences. But the avowed purpose of
alchemy, turning lead into gold, is too limiting to be called magick. Sometimes the
goal of alchemy is interpreted in another way, as the transformation of man into a
Then there are the numerous modern day seers or ‘psychics’, as they like to be
called, who operate within their own somewhat unique systems. Although many of these
people are deluded frauds, some are very powerful occultists indeed.
Of course, everything I have said here is a generalization. Magick, witchcraft,
alchemy, or any occult field are complex subjects. Suffice it to say that magick
includes them all (it is eclectic). For magick is undoubtedly a philosophy which has,
as the late Aleister Crowley wrote, “The method of science — the aim of religion.”
- Define magick.
- Define ESP and PK. Give examples.
- What is the subconscious?
Hal N. Banks, An Introduction to Psychic Studies.
Annie Besant, Thought Power.
Michael H. Brown, PK, A Report on the Power of Psychokinesis.
Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts.
Alexandira David-Neel, Magic and Mystery in Tibet.
Raynor C. Johnson, The Imprisoned Splendour.
Janet Lee Mitchell, “Is Anything Out There?”, Fate magazine, May 1988.
Ostrander and Shroeder, Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtan.
THE SUBJECTIVITY OF EXPERIENCE
‘ The universe is a projection of ourselves; an image as unreal as that of our
faces in a mirror….We cannot affirm any quality in an object as being independent
of our sensorium, or as being in itself that which it seems to us. Nor can we assume
that what we cognize is more than a partial phantom of its cause.’ ( –Aleister
Crowley, Magick, p. 110)
Your awareness of the physical world and of your place within it is mostly based
upon the physical senses (hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste). These five senses
continually send information to the mind, and it is up to the mind to select and
interpret them. If you could not do so, your senses would overwhelm you and be
meaningless. Selection and interpretation of your sensory inputs is essentially an
automatic, mostly subconscious function of the mind. The program or map which the
subconscious follows as its reference point is called a ‘model’. The model is a
subconscious mental photograph of how you believe the world looks (i.e.. worldview,
mindset, egregore, or belief system). It was built up from an early age by your
religious and cultural background through interaction with family and others. It
contains your experiences, attitudes, and habits. And whether you realize it or not,
most of your behavior, thoughts, feelings, and habits are based upon and conditioned by
that model; even personality. The model is one of the mind’s master programs. Change in
behavior generally requires a change in the model. These limitations built into our way
of thinking cause our perceptions to be subjective. That is why Hindu philosophy looks
upon the world as illusory (maya); the world itself (object) is not an illusion,
however from our viewpoint through perception (subject) it is.
Thus we are all conditioned by experience. Except that our perceptions, hence our
experiences, are first conditioned and limited by the model. Our perceptions and
experiences tend to conform to what we expect. We tend to misinterpret or ignore things
which do not match our preconceived notions about them. This is automatic.
The forgoing demonstrates how it is that there are so many different versions of
‘truth’. One’s particular view is almost arbitrary. Although numerous religions,
philosophies, and occult systems abound, they do not contradict one and other as much
as it might appear. Rather, they describe the same (universal) reality taken from
different perspectives. For there can be no ultimate truth in the physical world. We
can only base our actions upon assumptions and agreements. All experience is
subjective. I like to think of the universe as something indescribable, perhaps a
4-dimentional ‘thing’. As soon as we attempt to put it into our 3-dimentional
knowledge-base, something changes and we only see an aspect of the big picture. Just as
a photograph can only show us a flat *representation* of a greater thing, so it is with
any attempt to describe *spiritual reality* in physical terms.
Yet, there is a separate reality within each of us which is often ignored unless we
seek it. This inner self is in magick called the ‘true will’. The true will is the
center of consciousness and identity. It is the ‘real you’. Everything else is an
interface or link to it from the outer (illusory) world. Since that interface is based
upon our model, it is conditioned and may sometimes produce false information. ‘Do what
thou wilt’ (Crowley) is an axiom of magick; for the true will expresses our exact
desires. And what we truly want (‘down deep’) we tend to automatically get. This isn’t
always in our best interests, since the true will can be conditioned (tricked) by the
illusion; and then we might desire and obtain that which is not ultimately good for us.
(Karma strikes again!) The task of the magician therefore is to awaken his awareness of
the true will, to be free of conditioning, and thereby to transcend maya. (‘My will
unconditioned is magical’ — Spare).
HAPPINESS IS BEING HAPPY
There is no great secret to changing behavior or habits. It is largely a matter of
determination. It requires that you ignore the ‘pull’ of the model when you strive for
changes within yourself. The model is, after all, a collection of ‘habits’, some of
which must be unlearned for permanent change to occur. There are two ways to do this:
direct, through will power and awareness alone — observing and acting out in an
unattached or indifferent manner; and indirect — through conditioning such as
affirmation (explained later), self-hypnosis, and magick. Meditation may help too, by
relaxing tension and conflict.
Emotions follow physical expression: smile and act happy and you will tend to feel
and be happy. The same is also true for other emotions. Also, emotions can be purposely
used (or programmed) to replace other emotions. Using this technique, a magician is
somewhat like an actor in that he learns how to turn his emotions on and off at will.
Note that this is not ‘faking it'; the magician is probably more in touch with his true
feelings than most people. And for these reasons we say that happiness is being
SYSTEMS OF MAGICK
Magick always involves self-hypnosis. However, it may be more than that. For one
thing, there are objective forces involved (or so it would seem). Deities, spirits, and
cosmic force can have an independent existence. And the repetitive physical movement
sometimes involved in ritual can itself generate PK force. On the other hand, it could
be argued that all of this is subjective to the magician. Or that the deities and
spirits are nothing more than archetypes or cosmic patterns which the magician
energizes with his own vitality. Perhaps all magical effects could be produced through
hypnosis alone. But the effects are certainly real.
Great complexity is not necessary in magick. Although basically magick is a medieval
system of symbolism (in a modern context), any cosmological system will work from
Cabala to Star Wars. We usually use the medieval one in magick because it is convenient
and traditional, and because it seems to fit our thought processes well. Traditional
symbols have greater emotional effect on the magician than modern ones because of his
familiarity with them. What really matters is that the model of the magician be
understood and programmed, and thus that the model and the cosmological system do
- Contrast subjective with objective.
- What is a ‘model’?
- Explain the task of the magician.
Eric Berne, Games People Play.
Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics.
Carlos Castaneda, The Fire From Within.
Arthur Koestler, The Roots of Coincidence.
John C. Lilly, The Center of the Cyclone.
——, Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer.
——, Simulations of God — The Science of Belief.
Alan Watts, The Book (on the taboo against knowing who you are).
THE FOUR WORLDS
The ancients described man as mind, body, and soul. Psychologists of the twentieth
century added the subconscious to that definition. This produces a four-fold
classification. The universe is also divided into four corresponding parts (‘worlds’),
as shown below:
|spiritual world||spiritual body (soul or kia)||intuition|
|mental world||mental body (conscious mind)||rational thought|
|astral world||astral body (subconscious)||emotions|
|physical world||physical body||physical senses|
The astral body (subconscious) is the intermediary for intuition, magical and
psychic phenomena, and is the ‘psychic link’ to the physical world. J.H. Brennan says
that the astral is the realm of visual imagination. It seems to be both a ‘place’ and a
‘state of mind’ at the same time. Most occult and magical phenomena originate in the
invisible, non-sensate, non-physical realm (i.e.. without physical senses). Each of the
four worlds interacts with the other worlds. Psychic energy flows from the spiritual to
mental to astral to physical. The physical world is a projection (manifestation,
reflection, or shadow) of the higher worlds. Our center of consciousness is generally
within these higher worlds. “We are”, to quote the rock music group the Police,
“spirits in the material world”.
There are many similar terms used by other occult groups. For example, ‘astral
light’ is another name for astral world, although it may sometimes also refer to the
entire non-physical realm, as may ‘inner planes’ or ‘the invisible world’. Planes are
essentially the same as worlds. Vehicles or sheaths are the same as bodies. Some groups
include an ethereal or vital body between physical and astral: it is mostly ‘physical’
with a little of the lower ‘astral’ besides. And sometimes astral and mental are each
divided into two parts (upper and lower). The ‘causal body’ is the upper
MICROCOSM AND MACROCOSM
We have been describing ‘traditional’ occult philosophy here, and certainly an
important part of the tradition is the idea (and terms) microcosm and macrocosm. The
greater universe, known as the *macrocosm*, includes everything that exists. It
corresponds with the *microcosm*, or tiny universe, i.e.. man — who is thought of as a
miniature replica of the macrocosm (whole universe). This basic magical relationship is
demonstrated in the Bible (Genesis 1.27), where God is the macrocosm; and in the
writing of Trismegistus (“As above so below”). Since man is in the image of God
(universe) it follows that God is in the image of man (in other words, man and the
God/universe match each other). The magician, as a microcosm is thus connected with the
macrocosm. There is an intimate relationship of energies between you and everything
else. The universe is reflected within us and we are projected into the universe. This
is an important theory behind magick and astrology.
MAGICK WHITE AND BLACK
‘Personal magick’ is that magick used to affect the self; often involving
affirmation, self-suggestion, and self-hypnosis. ‘Active magick’ is outer directed
magick (as in PK) used to affect someone or thing, or to bring about an event. ‘Passive
magick’ is to be affected (as in ESP) by an outside non-physical cause. Everyone
possesses some magical (and psychic) potential. Some are especially gifted. Usually
people are better at one kind of magick (ie. active or passive) than they are at the
other kind; only rarely does an individual excel at both. Training and practice will,
of course, improve ability somewhat.
Although the forces of magick are neutral, various systems may take on the qualities
of good and evil. There is so-called white magick or good magick, black magick or evil
magick, and gray magick between them. When many people refer to white magick they mean
magick for unselfish purposes, also healing and mental influence with specific
permission. By black magick they refer to magick for self-interest and healing
*without* specific permission. Using magick to forcefully control another’s will is, in
a sense, black magick too. There are also some people on the occult fringe who claim to
be, possibly even think they are, ‘Satanists’, devil worshipers, or black magicians.
These people are most likely charlatans, hoaxers, dabblers, or merely misinformed. They
may be attracted by the ‘art’ of black magick, or even by the ‘glamour’ of doing
something against the ‘rules’. But a real black magician is very dangerous. Because he
has dedicated his life to evil. We usually think of ‘white magick’ as having *unselfish
intent*, and (in the extreme case) of ‘black magick’ as being actual Satan worship,
human or animal sacrifice, dangerous unconventional magical practices, and other
bizarre stuff as makes a nightmare. It is all a matter of degree. Most mild
self-interest magick (one of the most common kinds) would be called ‘gray’. Better
terms may be *constructive magick* as being beneficial; and *aversive magick* as magick
intended to work against the natural order, and to tear down. There is also the *high
magick* of spiritual alchemy (i.e.. spiritual growth), also known as ‘the Great Work';
and conversely there is ‘low magick’ which is concerned with materiality.
Any magick act is likely to produce side effects regardless of whether or not the
desired result is achieved. Such side effects are no problem for constructive magick,
since they are beneficial as well. However, aversive magick can produce aversive side
effects which may even harm the magician — aversive magick is dangerous!
IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS
What we have been calling ‘magick’ is actually a continuous process. Since your
subconscious never rests, your environment is continually being shifted into line with
your model. This is true whether you study magick or not. For most people, these
effects are usually very subtle, and they are probably not aware of them. However, as
you work with the occult, the flow of psychic energy and your awareness of it
increases. Your true will is more likely to be strongly expressed. Your luck may be
affected (either in a positive or a negative way). Remember, our lives tend to follow
what we want down deep. That is why a positive outlook is so very beneficial to
THE MAGICAL DIARY
Sometimes it is helpful to keep a diary of your magical experiments and research.
Such a diary should include the date, perhaps even some astrological data (or anything
else you think may have a relationship to what you are doing). This is also a good time
to begin recording your dreams — at least the important ones — in a dream diary. Your
dreams can tell you a great deal about yourself, and may sometimes reveal premonitions.
Dreams are personal. Don’t fall for the commercial ‘dream book’
The mind is always open to suggestion — especially the subconscious. Most of the
time we censor any suggestions according to the model; but one way to break through the
censor is with repetition. An affirmation does this exactly. By suggestion, we mean any
statement which is capable of affecting your model. Usually suggestion is in the form
of a positive statement (such as the hypnotist’s patter — ” You are becoming sleepy”).
An affirmation is the same kind of thing — a positive suggestion, which you repeat
(affirm) to yourself aloud or silently (for example, “I remember my dreams”). If there
is some quality you wish to change or develop within yourself, an affirmation is ideal.
Repeat it several times every day at several different times throughout the day,
especially when you go to bed. Affirmations are subtle and may require a few months to
work. Use them for changes, not miracles.
SIMPLE BANISHING TECHNIQUE
Visualization is another important method we use to influence the subconscious. A
good example of this is the simple banishing technique which follows. Banishing is used
in magick to ‘clear the air’ of negative ‘vibes’ and interference…
Visualize a strong white light flowing out the top of your head, flowing down around
you and covering you. At the same time imagine you are throwing away any ‘problem’
vibes. Maintain the visualization for a half a minute or longer. Good way to help you
handle your emotions, and to control worry or anger.
- What is a microcosm?
- List the four worlds. Explain.
- What is an affirmation? Give an example.
Geoffry Hodson, Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life.
Marc Edmund Jones, Key Truths of Occult Philosophy.
Marion Weinstein, Positive Magic.
Nelson & Ann White, The Wizard’s Apprentice.
Beatrice Bruteau, The Psychic Grid.
ELEMENTS AND FORCES
The Ancients divided the world into four basic principles or *elements* — earth,
water, fire, and air. That viewpoint has mostly changed with advances of science, but
the four elements are still accepted in magick, for they are more closely linked with
emotions, the human psyche, and with nature than are modern explanations of the world.
These *magical elements* are also of some importance in astrology. Many occultists
think of the magical elements as forces, or as *qualities* of energy; especially within
the astral world. Each element has a symbol and color. (Common symbols are — fire: a
triangle pointing up; air: a triangle pointing up and with a horizontal line through
the middle of it; water: a triangle pointing down; earth: a triangle pointing down and
with a horizontal line through the middle of it.) Colors of the elements are — earth:
brown and green; water: blue; fire: red; air: yellow. The Eastern tattvic system uses
different symbols and colors. (The tattvic symbols are briefly described later on in
this course.) The elements are often used in magick ritual.
Magick sees relationships between things. These relationships are called
‘correspondences’. Although magical correspondences are not literally equal to one
another, you can think of them that way (such as gold equals sun). Tables of these
relationships, called ‘Correspondence Tables’, are available (an important one is
Crowley’s ‘777’). Thus one thing or symbol can be used to suggest another. This is
important in magick, for the magician may surround himself with as many appropriate
correspondences as he can to vividly affect the senses; thus making his magical contact
with the inner planes more lucid.
The magical elements have correspondences with the tarot cards as the four suits.
The four quarters (directions of the universe as used in magick ritual) and the
Archangels also correspond with these same elements —
Astrological signs also correspond with the elements. Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn
are earth signs. Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces are water signs. Aries, Leo and
Sagittarius are fire signs. Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are air
The magical elements are said to be peopled by spirits and mythological entities
called elementals or nature spirits. These are grouped into four main categories —
|Gnome (earth)||Undine (water)||Salamander (fire)||Sylph (air)|
Elementals are usually only visible to those with clairvoyant sight and are more
likely to be seen at night in the mountains or country away from cities — especially
if you are tired or sleepy. Although elementals exist naturally, it is also possible to
create one which will exist for a limited time — no elemental has immortality. A
created elemental is called an ‘artificial elemental’.
To the Ancients, elementals were the physical explanation of the universe. However,
some contemporary occultists see them only as symbols for forces and otherwise not
‘real’ at all. Another word sometimes used for elemental is ‘familiar’ (usually in
medieval witchcraft); the term is ambiguous, as it might merely be an ordinary
household pet such as a dog or cat.
Chinese philosophy and acupuncture talk of yin yang. This is the idea of polarity,
or opposite pairs, as shown —
The list could go on. In Chinese literature it is quite long. Some occultists
suggest everything can be similarly arranged into related opposite pairs.
Here is a simple magical technique you may wish to try. It is a variation of
affirmation, which was discussed in an earlier lesson…To help you to achieve your
goal (magical or otherwise), find a word or short phase which sums up what it is that
you want to accomplish. Write the word (or phrase) down 10 times each day until you
- List the four elements.
- What is an elemental?
- What are correspondences?
William Britten, Art Magic (long out of print, but in some libraries).
Pete Carrol, Liber Null.
Wing-Tsit Chan, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy.
Manly Hall, Unseen Forces.
CHAKRAS AND MEDITATION
According to East Indian philosophy, man possesses seven major *chakras* or psychic
centers on his body. Each of these forms a bridge, link, or energy transformer;
changing pure (higher) energy into various forms, and connecting the four bodies (i.e..
spiritual, mental, astral, and physical) together. The chakras are located along the
nadies (a network of psychic nerves or channels) and follow the autonomic nervous
system along the spinal cord. Chakras correlate with major acupuncture points along the
‘governing vessel meridian’ (acupuncture term). The seven major chakras are connected
together by three major nadies which are parallel and near each other. The middle nadi
is called *sushumna* and it has neutral characteristics. The nadi on the left (ie.
nearest your left hand) is the *ida* nadi which has yin characteristics. On the other
side of sushumna (nearest your right hand) is the *pingala* nadi, having yang
Chakras are visible to clairvoyant sight as variously colored rotating circles or
funnels. In the East they are described as petaled flowers or lotuses. Sources disagree
on the colors.
- The first chakra, located at the base of the spine at the perineum is the *root
chakra*, muladhara. It primarily relates to the element of earth and to psychic
- The second chakra, known as the *sacral center*, svadhisthana, is located above
and behind the genitals. Its dominant element is water, and it is related to psychic
- Third of the chakras is the *solar plexus*, manipura, located at the navel and
corresponding with the emotions and with the element of fire; also with psychic sight
- The *heart chakra*, anahata, is the fourth chakra, located over the heart and
corresponding with the element of air, and also with psychic touch.
- The fifth chakra is the *throat chakra*, vishuddha, located at the base of the
throat (thyroid) and corresponding with psychic hearing (clairaudience).
- The *frontal chakra*, (or ‘third eye’) ajna, the sixth chakra, is located
between, and slightly above, the eyebrows. Ajna is the center of psychic powers and
can produce many psychic effects. Meditation on ajna is said to cure
- Finally, the *crown chakra*, sahasrara, located atop the head, (pineal gland) is
the seventh chakra. It is referred to as the thousand-petaled lotus and corresponds
with astral projection and enlightenment.
There are also many minor chakras throughout the body. Each chakra has a sound
(letter) and a pitch which is sometimes used to invoke it.
Some occultists prefer to describe the magical elements as tattvas according to the
Eastern system. Notice that these symbols and colors are generally different than the
western symbols and colors for the elements.
Yoga originated in India. It is a physical or mental discipline designed to
condition and invigorate the mind and body. There are many kinds of yoga, but they may
be generally divided into three main types…
- Hatha yoga — affect the mind through the body using physical exercises; improve
physical health and endurance.
- Raja yoga — affect the mind through mental training; improve concentration.
- Mantra yoga — affect the mind through chanting and affirmation; achieve
This is a much touted area of the occult. There are many meditation techniques, and
many claims made for the benefits of meditation. Basically, meditation has two
functions — relaxation, and perhaps, improved concentration. There are two main
- concentration meditation (focusing)
- insight meditation (mindfulness).
Most kinds of meditation are the concentrative type. One simply focuses his
attention upon a single physical object (such as a candle flame); upon a sensation
(such as that felt while walking or breathing); upon an emotion (such as reverence or
love); upon a mantra spoken aloud or even silently; or upon a visualization (as in
chakra meditation, see below)…Concentration meditation is, simply put, a form of
A mantra (or mantrum) is one or more words or syllables which are repeated — often
chanted — aloud…A simple yet powerful mantra is to vibrate the mystical word ‘OM’.
This mantra has long been associated in India with the godhead/unity. Use it to aid in
tuning into universal vibrations which promote feelings of harmony, peace, and
well-being. Use it before magick ritual to ‘get into the mood’ and afterward to
‘dismiss the forces’. You vibrate a mantra by saying it slowly aloud in a lower-pitched
voice than your normal speech, and a more or less constant pitch as well. Let the sound
fade at the end of the mantra. A powerful one such as ‘OM’ will seem to vibrate the air
around you. It should be vocalized for 5-10 seconds and repeated a number of times with
a few seconds rest between each vocalization. Chanting of mantras may cause slight
dizziness from hyperventilation.
The other main type of meditation — insight meditation — is the analysis of
thoughts and feelings in such a way as to cause realization of the subjectivity and
illusion of experience. This is done in a effort to attain transcendental awareness.
Such statements as, ‘This body is not me’, fall under this category. Buddhist
meditations are usually of this type.
There is a special type of concentrative meditation which we will call ‘Chakra
meditation’. This is basically Kundalini yoga — the practice of causing psychic energy
(kundalini) to flow up sushumna, energizing the various chakras along the way. The
practice, considered dangerous by some, will produce definite physiological sensations
and psychological effects if continued long enough. It should not be attempted by
epileptics or persons with an unstable mental or physical condition, or with heart
disease. Certain drugs and medications, such as those used to treat epilepsy may retard
progress. Although the technique is very simple, it may eventually produce powerful
results. Results may at first appear hours after the practice during sleep. As each
chakra is energized by this practice, it is said to add occult powers (sidhis), until
at last the crown chakra is reached, and with it, full enlightenment is attained.
Sometimes kundalini awakens all by itself.
To practice this chakra meditation, you simply concentrate on the chakras, beginning
with the root chakra, and moving progressively up, as you visualize psychic energy from
the root chakra traveling up shushumna and vivifying each higher chakra. As we
mentioned the chakras have certain properties associated with them, so that this type
of visualization may ‘raise consciousness’, promote astral projection, and other things
— once you have reached ajna and eventually the crown chakra. You might typically
meditate in this fashion for 15 minutes to a half hour a day. It might help to practice
some hatha yoga or other physical exercise in an effort to make the spinal cord ‘more
flexible’. Diet may also affect the process. The technique is also similar to the
Tibetan ‘Tummo’ meditation. The rise of kundalini is sometimes experienced as a
‘vibration’ or buzzing, as light, or as heat.
HEALTH AND DIET
Certainly the way you treat your physical body will affect your mind. In magick you
want an alert mind. Therefore, your body must be as healthy as you can keep it. Take
care of your body. Exercise regularly. eat a good diet (with vitamin supplements), and
do not consume anything which will have a negative effect upon the mind. Drugs,
smoking,, and alcohol should be restricted, or eliminated. (The mind can create any
condition which a drug can create.) A good rule here is moderation in what and how much
you consume. (Most of this stuff is pretty obvious isn’t it.) You may also want to cut
down on sugar and processed foods. Many occultists advise dietary changes, expecially
the non-eating of meat. We cannot deny the physical, psychological, and spiritual
effect which all foods have. This effect may be described as the ‘heaviness’ factor of
foods. Various foods are so ranked in the chart, lighter to heavier…
- lettuce and other greens.
- fruits and most vegetables.
- wheat, rice, and other grains.
- nuts, beans, and other legumes.
- cheese, dairy products, including eggs.
- fish, seafood.
- chicken, poultry.
- beef, pork, other red meats.
Note that meats, especially red meats are the ‘heaviest’ foods. Generally, foods
which are harder to digest, or which are higher in protein are ‘heavier’ than those
which are not. Animal products are heavier than plants. Foods high in carbohydrate
(candy, bread, starch) are heavy. However, the ‘heaviness’ of foods is not directly
related to the amount of calories.
What this means is that for various reasons, the heaviness of food in your diet will
affect your magical experiences. You may be able to increase your psychic receptivity
(‘energy level’) by eating lighter foods, or by eating less. Conversely, emphasizing
heavy foods in your diet, or eating larger helpings, may help to ‘bring you down to
earth’ should you ‘rent the veil’ too much. These are generalizations, of course, and
it may take a number of days of dietary change before you notice much effect. I do not
advocate radical dietary changes, excessive fasting, or malnutrition. Your good health
is far more important in magick than any temporary effect you get from prolonged
starvation. A change in diet will sometimes only produce a temporary effect, until the
physical body adapts to the change. Healthy natural foods and lifestyle make it easier
for us to be healthy, but ultimately, good health is a mental quality
THE FOUR-FOLD BREATH
With physical exercise too, moderation is advised. (You should be cautious, or not
attempt it if you have a respiratory or heart condition. Check with your physician if
in doubt, and don’t overdo.) One of the most useful physical exercises is pranayama, or
controlled breathing (actually a type of hatha yoga exercise). For this and any other
calisthenics or hatha yoga which you might choose to do a ‘kitchen timer’ is suggested
(many of these aren’t accurate for under three minutes, but are helpful for longer
The main purpose of pranayama is to relax the body and mind. There are many kinds of
pranayama, but a simple one called the ‘four-fold breath’ will suffice. This consists
of four short quick inhalations, then four short quick exhalations; then repeat,
continuing until the allotted time is used up. It will take about 1 1/2 seconds for the
four inhalations, and about 1 1/2 seconds for the four exhalations; or about 3 seconds
for the complete in-out cycle (‘rep’ for repetition). There should be no strain of any
kind during your pranayama. You will probably notice a slight dizziness, particularly
at first, since the effect of pranayama is to hyperventilate. Try sitting back in a
chair with your eyes closed when you do your pranayama. Begin a minute a day for the
first week and gradually increase up to about five minutes a day. If you do the
pranayama before your magical activity, it will help you to get ‘into the mood’. It is
also an excellent aid to relaxation and tension release. Pranayama should not be done
during heavy air pollution. Other exercises you might consider are hatha yoga,
calisthenics, walking or jogging.
- What is a chakra? List them.
- Name the three major nadies. Which nadi is hot?
- What is pranayama?
Arthur Diekman, The Observing Self.
W.Y. Evans-Wentz, Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.
Sandra Gibson, Beyond the Mind.
King and Skinner, Techniques of High Magic.
Swami Sivananda, Kundalini Yoga.
John Woodroffe (pseud. for Arthur Avalon), The Serpent Power.
THOUGHTFORMS AND SPIRITS
Although there are hundreds of kinds of divination, the principle ones are
astrology, geomancy, the tarot, the I Ching, and direct psychic means (especially
clairvoyance). True divination is more than a mechanical system, for it implies true
psychic interpretation (receiving). Some form of divination is often used in magick
ritual to communicate with the entity invoked.
Since divination operates through the mind, it is affected and biased by the mind.
Our attitudes and fears may alter it. Sometimes results are very detailed, and accurate
— but not always. Often the future is plastic and changeable anyway, and the use of
magick may alter the result. Thus divination shows tendencies only, which may be
helpful, but must not rule us.
It is possible to improve your natural ability with clairvoyance through practice. A
good start might be to look around you, then close your eyes and try to picture your
surroundings. This is also good exercise for visualization. And visualization is an
essential talent in magick. Open your eyes again and check your accuracy. Then close
your eyes and try it again. When you use your physical eyes, look at everything like a
child seeing it for the first time. Let the vividness of color and form burn into you,
until everything takes on a veritable glow. Try to capture that glow when you close
your eyes now and picture your surroundings. It’s just a simple step to extend what you
see with your eyes closed into what you remember seeing in the next room, or what you
*imagine* seeing in the next building, the next city, even the other side of the world.
Don’t expect perfect results, especially at first. Just try to be even partly right.
Another exercise is to picture a clock face, and thereby tell the time
Under the right conditions, it is possible to clairvoyantly observe a colored light
around other people. This is known as the ‘aura’. Sometimes the aura is seen as
multi-colored emanations around the person, built up of various differently colored
layers and zones. Although many occult dabblers claim to be able to see the aura easily
and under many varied conditions, I seriously doubt that they do. There are optical
illusions and qualities of sight which can sometimes trick one into thinking he sees
what he does not see. In this area, the quality of sight known as after image is
especially pertinent. Do this: stare at any solidly colored bright object for a few
moments. Very intense red, green, or blue are especially good for this. Now look away
at a white surface and you will see a phantom image of the object in its complementary
color (a red object will show green, a blue one orange, etc.). If the bright object is
in front of a light surface, you may observe a fringe of complementary color around the
object after a few moments. This is all very normal, and is used by some magical groups
as an aid to visualization sometimes called ‘flashing colors’. Some silly people will
stare at other people in the same way. And when they see the after image of the
person’s clothing, they think they are seeing his aura. What is more, various meanings
have been attributed to the colors of the aura. A psychic who can see the aura is
supposed to be able to determine that persons emotional state. Thus psychic frauds can
have a marvelous time with auras. One deluded psychic taught a class I attended in
which he performed instant psychoanalysis on the basis of the supposed aura. It was
obvious that he was actually observing after images from the students clothes!
This brings us to the chart of aura colors on the next page. It is a general guide,
based mostly on Theosophical material. Various groups may attribute different meanings
to the colors. The colors we show on the chart are emotional in nature; useful if you
plan to create an artificial elemental or do healing. Surrounding yourself with a
particular color will tend to produce the specific psychological effect described in
the chart. That quality of color is useful in magick ritual.
COLORS OF THE AURA
|BROWN||materialism||muddy gray or dull rust||selfishness|
|RED||energy||bright red||anger and force|
|dirty red||passion and sensuality|
|dull red||selfish love|
|bright orange||noble indignation|
|earthy yellow||selfish thought|
|bright gold||logical thinking|
|bright red-yellow||spiritual thought|
|emerald green||unselfish resourcefulness|
|foliage green||sympathy & empathy|
|bright apple-green||strong vitality|
|bright turquoise||deep sympathy & compassion|
|BLUE||devotion (religious feeling)||gray-blue||fetishism|
|light blue||noble spiritual devotion|
|dark blue||religious feeling|
|bright lilac-blue||lofty religious idealism|
|VIOLET||spiritual||psychic & spiritual faculty|
THOUGHTFORMS AND SPIRITS
Whenever we concentrate our thoughts, we draw psychic energy together. This is
called a thoughtform. Usually the energy dissipates as soon as we break the
concentration, but it is possible to purposely concentrate energy in this way,
producing very strong thoughtforms. Such thoughtforms are vortexes or centers of
psychic energy. They can exist as entities by themselves, at least for a while. They
are basically inanimate, non-thinking forces. Talking to one is about as logical as
talking to a chair. In this way, thoughtforms are similar to elementals, ghosts, and
spirits. All of these psychic entities consist of a psychic energy vortex which could
be described as a localized field or as a discontinuity of the physical world.
Psychic entities respond to certain electrostatic and magnetic fields, and to other
energy vortexes. That is why they respond to magick ritual. Someday, we may accomplish
the same thing with electronic machines. Psychic entities are sometimes able to affect
our thought processes.
Thoughtforms, elementals, and ghosts are usually not very smart. If they display any
intelligence at all, it is limited. They are the morons of the spirit world. Their
behavior is usually automatic, repetitive, robot-like (just like some people). We see
that artificial elementals are little more than astral robots. Spirits and deities are
more intelligent and volitional.
Your mind follows your attention. Wherever you direct your attention, there will
your thoughts go too. By directing attention to a specific place or purpose you *focus*
mental energy upon it.
For example: you’re having lunch in a cafeteria crowded with people. It is a large
place, and everyone there is talking at once, so that the room is a constant jumble of
noise. You happen to notice a man across the room; he reminds you of someone. All at
once he drops his fork and you hear it hit the table. But would you have noticed the
sound of his fork if you had not been looking? No. Only by focusing your attention
there were you able to pick out that individual event and associated sound.
It is a dark night. You are walking and the only light you have is from the
flashlight you hold in your hand. As you move the flashlight around, the beam of light
from it directs your attention first one way then another. Now, the mind is something
like that flashlight in the dark. And by directed attention, you point the mind to one
place or another. As with that flashlight beam, you see where the mind is pointed;
nothing more. The rest is ‘noise’. And so we could define mental noise as anything not
focused upon. In another way, noise could be considered as negative emotions,
attitudes, and thoughts which make it more difficult to direct the attention.
Your emotions follow your thoughts quite easily. Your emotions are not YOU, but are
rather reactions prompted by your model and ego — like a performance or an act, while
the real you watches. In a similar way, directing your attention toward a specific
emotion will cause you to experience that emotion.
Visual imagination and concentration are very important in magick. Here are some
exercises to help in your development…
- Close your eyes and visualize a single digit number as clearly as you can. Then a
two digit number, then a 3 digit one. Hold the visualization in front of your ‘inner
eye’ for about two minutes. Repeat with a letter or a word.
- Visualize a brightly colored green circular spot. Again hold the visualization
for two minutes. Try again with a different color.
- Visualize in succession, each one of the tattvic symbols, in their proper color.
Hold each symbol for at least two minutes.
- Look through a tarot card deck and pick out several of your favorite cards. Then,
after briefly studying a card, visualize it vividly in detail. Hold the visualization
for at least two minutes. Do this for each card you selected.
- Repeat the above visualization exercises with your eyes open.
- What is the aura?
- What is a thoughtform?
- How can you develop clairvoyance?
Annie Bessant and Charles Leadbeater, Thought Forms.
W.E. Butler, How to Develop Clairvoyance.
J.H. Brennan, Astral Doorways.
Piero Ferrucci, What We May Be.
Kilner, The Human Aura.
Swami Panchadasi, The Human Aura.
A.E. Powell, The Etheric Double.
Harold Sherman, How to Make ESP Work for You.
Phil Hansford, 4/88
(818) 353-8891 (modem)
P.O. Box 83
Tujunga, CA 91042